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Arthur A Volk Symposium Hosts Best Selling Author

Photo of Roam. Best-selling author Dan Roam speaks to students at the annual Authur A. Volk Symposium.

VERMILLION, S.D. – The Arthur A. Volk Symposium, together with the Beacom School of Business, hosted international best-selling author Dan Roam to speak about using simple pictures to solve financial and technology problems.

Speaking to an audience of almost 400 students, faculty and alumni, Roam discussed how to map out and solve complex problems using drawings.

"It was a pleasure having Dan Roam on campus explaining how anyone can use visual thinking to improve communication and problem solving,” said Venky Venkatachalam, dean of the Beacom School of Business. "This creative approach offers individuals a way to visually break down complex problems into simple elements, allowing them to easily interpret the situation they are presented with."

Dan Roam is the author of two international bestsellers, "The Back of the Napkin: Solving Problems and Selling Ideas with Pictures," and "Unfolding the Napkin: The Hands-On Method for Solving Complex Problems with Simple Pictures." His book "Unfolding the Napkin" was selected as Business Week and Fast Company’s best innovation book of the year, and Amazon’s #5 selling business book.

The Volk Symposium honors the legacy of Arthur A. Volk, who joined the USD faculty in 1948. During his 36-year tenure at USD, he taught every accounting course offered by the school as well as other business courses. The Symposium was established as a fund to bring together students, academics and business leaders for discussion of current topics of interest.

“Art Volk would have been proud of this impressive gathering of students, alumni, faculty and staff,” stated Tom Davies, chair of the division of accounting and finance. “Dan Roam was an excellent choice to honor Professor Volk’s legacy this year.”


USD's Beacom School of Business was established in 1927 and has been accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) since 1949. The leading business school in the region, Beacom’s programs are consistently ranked among the top business schools in the nation by Princeton Review, U.S. News & World Report and others for its high-quality learning experience, student success, affordability, and high-caliber of faculty and students. Whether a student chooses face-to-face or online courses, Beacom’s programs emphasize real-world experience through professional organizations, quality internships and capstone projects.


Founded in 1862 and the first university in the Dakotas, the University of South Dakota is the only public liberal arts university in the state, with 202 undergraduate and 84 graduate programs in the College of Arts & Sciences, School of Education, Knudson School of Law, Sanford School of Medicine, School of Health Sciences, Beacom School of Business and College of Fine Arts. With an enrollment of nearly 10,000 students and more than 400 faculty, USD has a 16:1 student/faculty ratio, and it ranks among the best in academics and affordability. USD’s 18 athletic programs compete at the NCAA Division I level.


Hanna DeLange
USD News